How it all began 40 years ago … a journey back in time Part 1 of 4

19 Nov

Lasting relationships are based on many factors.  They include many ups and downs, all around experiences, failures, and successes!  You have to know what failure feels like to know what success is.

It hasn’t been an easy road, but we can laugh at the craziness that brought us together!  I’m sharing the foundation of our relationship in tribute of our 40th Anniversary on December 9th.  We married two days after Pearl Harbor Day’s Anniversary (December 7th) and joked that my husband would not forget our Anniversary when we get old!  He’s a history fanatic! Are we there yet, old? Nope! Last week was Veteran’s Day, and that’s a reminder of where our love story began.

Al in U.S. Navy 1966

Al in U.S. Navy 1966

This love story started with America’s veterans.   My husband, Al graduated from high school in 1965.

Al Alliance High School 1965

Al Alliance High School 1965

  It was a time when America had a draft for men in the military.  Most men were drafted.  Others enlisted before or immediately after receiving draft papers.

There was a classification system for the draft.  If men attended a University that was considered a level one.  A classification of 2-S was trade school.  Al was attending trade school. When he stopped attending classes he lost his classification of 2-S and became a 1-A , qualifying for draft. He was drafted within two weeks.

Once drafted, he had 30 days to enlist in any branch of military. If he did not he was automatically drafted into the Army.  He attempted to enlist in the Air Force, but allegedly failed the eye exam.  Immediately following this failure he walked over to Navy recruiters and joined the Navy.

He regrets not joining the military immediately following high school graduation during the Vietnam Conflict.  He felt he wasted a year in Trade School pursuing education in mechanical engineering with a goal to become a draftsman.  I remind him every experience in life accumulates and makes the person he is today.

That year in trade school may have saved his life!  Men were dying and permanently injured all the time during Vietnam conflict. He like many others, lost many friends and  Americans were being injured, returning to homeland without help or support.

Al on U.S.S. Ashland 1969

Al on U.S.S. Ashland 1969

U.S. Navy enlistees was at capacity and he did not leave for boot camp until April 27, 1966. His dad took him to bus station in Alliance, Ohio.  Bus departed Alliance with arrival in Cleveland, Ohio.  From Cleveland, Ohio he took a train into Chicago, and transferred into Great Lakes, Illinois where the United States Naval Training Center was located.  This is where he became a sailor in the U.S. Navy.

After boot camp he was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia on the USS Okinawa and soon stationed on USS Ashland.  While on the USS Ashland he had several jobs.  One of his favorite were in the scullery.  Trays were dropped off, stacked and sent through the dishwasher.

Al & Russ Rome, Italy 1969

Al & Russ Rome, Italy 1969

It was his job to rinse, clean, and load dishwasher.  When this process was completed removal and racking clean dishes and utensils for the next meal was the final phase in this repetitious job. It was one of his favorite jobs in the military!  When the process of dishwashing was done he was free to do what he liked!

Cleaning the deck was part of this job.  Swabbing the deck, or cleaning the deck with a mop was the end of a routine task before leaving the kitchen or mess hall.  He took his job seriously.  One day another sailor began to walk on his wet deck!  He yelled at him and he stopped in his tracks.  A couple weeks went by before he met up with that sailor again.

That sailor was assigned to work with him.  He remembered that other sailor well.  It’s hard to believe a wet deck would have such a lasting impression on anyone!  I’ll refer to my husband Al and the new sailor Mr. P.   According to Al, Mr. P did not want to work with him.

Al and Russ Rome, Italy 1969 Trevia Fountain

Al and Russ Rome, Italy 1969 Trevia Fountain

Over the next three months they found they had a lot in common, both from Ohio.  Al from Alliance and Mr. P from Cleveland. Mr. P hitch hiked frequently to Columbus, Ohio visiting his fiancee’. She was attending Ohio State University pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing.  After high school hey were engaged September 6, 1966, before she went off to college. Mr. P’s fiancee’ is my best friend and sister! Al was dating a woman in Alliance and hitch-hiked home when they were given leave.

Hitch hiking was common in military uniform.  People frequently stopped and picked troops up and take them as close to their destination as possible.  This was probably the most respect citizens provided to troops while serving during Vietnam conflict.

On one Al’s trips to Alliance he broke up with his girlfriend and became a single man! He vowed to be single for lifetime!  After that heartbreak the remainder of his military enlistment focused on his loving family and friends.

Al and Mr. P were on the same Naval Ship until they decommissioned the USS Ashland.  While on this ship they traveled around the world.  They shared good times while stationed in Naples, Italy and traveled various places including: Rome and La Spezia, Italy.

Years later they share pictures of Trevia Fountain, Colosseum Forum, Circus Maximus, Spanish Steps and The Red Banjo.  The Red Banjo was a nightclub owned by two Americans and one of their favorite places to visit! They traveled to Italy twice in 1969.

When the USS Ashland was decommissioned  Al was stationed on the U.S.S. Chilton and Mr. P on U.S.S. Plymouth Rock.  Al was only on the USS Chiltonabout a month when he was notified of “an early out”.  Four years after joining the Navy in 1966 he was discharged January 1970. He is a proud Veteran!

Diann and Russ Wedding May 23, 1970

Diann and Russ Wedding May 23, 1970

May 23, 1970, Mr. P married his fiancee’ after long engagement of nearly 4 years (September 6, 1966).  They courted a total 7 years.  She completed her baccalaureate degree in nursing and was working as a registered nurse.  Mr. P was discharged from the Navy later in year on October 3, 1970.   They resided in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Mr. P’s fiancee’ and, now his new bride-wife is my sister, my best friend!  While I knew Mr. P for several years, I did not know Al.  We were both in their wedding party.  Al was a groomsman and I was maid-of-honor.  I heard many stories about him, but never gave it any further thought.

He was six years older than I and I never thought of romantic relationships or marriage.  It just wasn’t my thing! I was still in high school and not seriously dating. The only thing I was serious about was my education and extracurricular activities.   He pursued me, and I ignored him!

It gets better!  If you are the partying type this may be too boring for you!  Is honesty the best policy?  Are cheap dates (inexpensive) fun?


Tags: , , , , ,

26 responses to “How it all began 40 years ago … a journey back in time Part 1 of 4

  1. buckwheatsrisk

    November 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Happy Anniversary!!

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      November 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Thank you.

      • buckwheatsrisk

        November 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm

        You’re very welcome. 🙂 are you doing anything special?

      • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

        November 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm

        DECEMBER 9, 1972 almost 40 years! Spent a week in Branson, MO in September enjoying live shows & relaxation! They announced our anniversary and I forgot I gave them the information so I was talking through it! My sister-in-law had to get my attention!LOL I think we married 2 days after Pearl Harbor Day so my husband wouldn’t forget!

      • buckwheatsrisk

        November 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm

        Well than it would have been a nice surprise for you too…LOL

        What a bitter sweet time to get married!

  2. Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

    November 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I cannot BELIEVE the detail of your autobiographical memory. Mine (and that of many in the ADD-tribe) is like Swiss Cheese! I also cannot BELIEVE that you have been married for 40 years (to the same man, even!). These are NOT things I hear often in ADD-land.

    Congratulations, and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!

    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC
    – ADD Coaching Field co-founder –
    (blogs: ADDandSoMuchMore and ADDerWorld – dot com!)
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      November 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Maybe one identifiable way or difference with ADD and TBI might be long-term memory! You would know. My friend with ADD will ask me to fill in the memory blanks. Obviously I have no problem. I still have excellent memory, but recall might not be spontaneous but it’s accurate! Are you able to recall address and telephone numbers from early years: like grandmothers’s telephone number, address?

      Is there a specific area in the brain that has a disconnect with long term memory or a short-circuit? Or maybe an area that has several branches instead of a direct route? Or is it chemical? Just trying to see what the difference may be and help problem solve the brain mystery! When medicine didn’t believe more brain neurons could be reproduced at the time of my injuries I remained positive and believed my brain could. It did. Now they do believe our brain can make new neurons.

      40 years and a rocky road with our journey, but it’s easier when “I’m always right!”HA. He just learned early, I’m not worth arguing with! Or I’m right, whether I am or not. I don’t disagree unless I know I am right and can prove it. Maybe that part Our personalities are opposite. He’s always been highly anxious and I’m calm. He has (undiagnosed or diagnosed? ADD…denial) Everyone has always noticed. Maybe I was too busy to notice? I love him for who he is, and it doesn’t make any difference. We are all God’s children and thank goodness all different. It would be a boring world if we were all the same!

      Thanks for the Anniversary wishes. I’m having fun writing these posts. Maybe my children won’t need to remember the stories and we will spare repeating them! They can just keep reading when their memory fails them!LOL They won’t need to remember and fill in the blanks. Besides, I doubt they are listening and they’re not interested until we won’t be on this earth!

      Happy Thanksgiving! Take care and stay safe, Edie

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        November 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm

        It’s not necessarily long-term memory, per se, that is the ADD struggle – it is the consolidation phase that is frequently missing because of SHORT-term memory deficits (more later for that), coupled with problems with retrieval vs. recognition. BOTH r’s imply that the info has been stored, but only the first “counts” for most of the non-ADD world as “remembering.” (i.e., What’s that guys name? vs. Is that guy John, Paul or Ringo?)

        My long term memory is EXCELLENT, actually, but my autobiographical memory is NOT. ie, I am able to recall practically everything I have *memorized* (eventually – “my file clerk is old and slow” — how I respond to those confused about “retrieval ON DEMAND” struggles).

        Since I am dyscalculate as well as ADD, I am able to recall ONLY a few items made up of numbers, and only those that remain stable (I can remember my birthday, for example, but not my age – *some* early area codes, but not numbers, possibly because I moved yearly or more for much of my life, but probably because numbers might as well be Sanscrit or squiggles – VERY hard for me to process at all.)

        The best answer I can give quickly about apparent long-term memory deficits is the link between ATTENTION and memory. Nobody can “remember” what they didn’t know about at the time, right? It’s not there TO recall. And if you weren’t focused there (or got distracted by something else), for YOU, it might as well not have happened.

        (There is an article that explains the brain-based mechanics of memory through the lens of attention on ADDasmm – The Link Between Attention and ACTION – copy and search to find it quickly)

        Unfortunately, you are probably correct that your kids will find this only mildly interesting NOW – but I promise you that every word will be golden once you are no longer around to ask. I only WISH my parents had been as forthcoming. I have to learn about my Dad from BOOKS! He never showed that side of himself to me, and it is a heartbreak, *especially* now that he is gone.

      • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

        November 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm

        Wow! This is confusing…at least right now! I’ll have to process all this information! Over the years prior to my injury I think I’ve missed the big picture and focused on the details instead! How does that happen?

        I think I came up with my own fun answer: Less intellect because I was fourth born?!LOL Should I blame my older siblings?LOL You were first born, so what is your excuse?LOL Like we’ve all been told in the past to “put our head on straight”, maybe that’s the entire problem with all of us. I better get to the automotive shop and get adjusted! Just a little laughter for cheers!

        Remembering your dad as it will be the first Nov. 20th (his birthday) without him.

        HAPPY THANKSGIVING and many blessings! Edie

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        November 19, 2012 at 10:46 pm

        There you go again – demonstrating that amazing memory!! (btw- my excuse is “oldest child syndrome”)

      • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

        November 20, 2012 at 9:30 am

        I’m laughing! Compensating is great when I’ve just read the birthday post from last year! I really want to send my readers your way. I’m reblogging your post for Grief today.

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        November 22, 2012 at 9:09 am

        Happy Thanksgiving! Time to do the gratitude list in earnest, hey?

        * I’m grateful that my cold has subsided in time to enjoy Peggy Ramundo’s [blended] family dinner later this evening — and grateful I have some where to GO that I know will be more than “just” *somewhere* to go!

        * I’m grateful that THIS time my chronorhythms de-stabilized [post “sleeping round the clock” while ill] in an unusually RARE direction with DSPS [delayed sleep phase syndrome – my nemesis for most of my life!] — I’ve been too sleepy to stay awake until midnight for 2 consecutive days!!!!

        So THAT means, for now anyway, I actually have an entire DAYLIGHT day for a change, which leaves me with a bunch of other gratefuls:

        * I’m grateful to awaken early enough by earth norms to feel ok with spending an hour or so on blogs and blog to-dos before shifting into no-more-work holiday mode.
        * I’m grateful to find that you have left me comments to respond to
        * I’m grateful that I’m awake early enough to respond to your comments before I RE-color my hair.
        (I’m NOT so grateful that the new “foam” home hair coloring I decided to try left me with two-toned hair only a 15-year old would think was acceptable – horizontal, not vertical — roots turned out RED, rest of hair is dark brown – shudder! – like an invisible Christmas-red overhead pinspot follows me everywhere) – BUT . . .

        * I’m EXTREMELY grateful that I have time *and* “archived” product in my bath to redo before dinner!!!! (wish me luck! sure hope I don’t have to add “grateful for HATS” to my list!)

        *I’m also grateful to be in a place where I can access gratitude — and that my life is in a place where there is more than A GREAT DEAL to be grateful for right on the tip of my virtual tongue. (There have been years where “grateful fors” were a stretch, and a bit on the pitiful side – and one year the grip of major depression threw me into a black hole where hope and gratitude were beyond me)

        BOTTOM LINE – I’m grateful to be grateful, and that I have developed a virtual friendship with someone with a blog where a post like this would be understood and maybe even appreciated.

        I am so grateful for YOU! Happy Turkey Day.

      • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

        November 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm

        Madelyn, I’m also grateful for many similar situations. After a few rough days I didn’t know if I’d even be able to host any type of Thanksgiving! Maybe I didn’t make soup and other things to send home with friends, but we had leftovers to send on home. Thankful to another friend for helping out all day today, and my children who also helped me pull it together, and my husband who looks at all the negatives in everything, because I never have time to and just never focus in a place that will never get anyone, anywhere hence my nickname “eternal optimist”!LOL Thank goodness we are so opposite! Thankful my husband peeled & cut potatoes and helped with clean-up along with my friend and children. I’m thankful I didn’t have to clean up, or it would have to wait till tomorrow!

        I’m very grateful that I have met up with you and we can share our own personal laughter along the way. I am ecstatic that I have found your site with the most amazing information. I’ve missed out on a lot over the years, but I’m going to catch up!

        I’m grateful I found someone else who gets red hair and the rest dark with hair color!LOL Let’s just dye it purple next time and see what color it turns out!LOL I have so few gray, but always try to look better! I think that’s the reason for the red color over dark brown? It’s the one thing I have a little control over, but as one ages I’m losing that control too!LOL

        I’m grateful for my “oldest sister…my best friend” who just retired from 43 years in nursing! She lives far away (Wyoming), but close in heart!

        I’m grateful to be fourth-born and not first-born!LOL Like I’ve said : “When God said come forth, I came fourth!”, even if it meant less-intelligence! You and my sister are both first-born and that’s difficult when you are responsible for so many other siblings after you both!

        I’m grateful I haven’t suffered depression but for a few days here and there. That alone (a few days) was harder than recovering from TBI. I wouldn’t have been able to recover otherwise. Those few days were my darkest days and I can’t ever imagine what people going through depression really go through, even though my son suffers from depression. I am not saying, I haven’t felt like giving-up during this time … but I prayed at what I needed to do the most and when I woke up the next morning I realized it wasn’t God’s will for me to die so I needed to continue the struggle.

        I pray that somewhere we can touch many more with TBI and brain dysfunction, chronic illness, mental and physical illness of any sort issues because I believe there is an extremely high rate of suicide. In my case, I’ve seen many botched attempts in nursing and it would be my luck I’d be worse off and I am too stubborn and I knew I was right, so I needed to continue my mission no matter how tough to reach out and help others. If we can only prevent these desperate acts of individuals because they lack the support, are ridiculed by society, and do not get proper diagnosis in a timely fashion. Thanks for expanding your site to so many others.

        I’m grateful I’m finally finding a new road in life and new friends!

        Take care and stay safe,

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

        November 23, 2012 at 11:36 am

        RE: suicide – YES, heartbreakingly present in [lack of] mental health community – for reasons you cite and more. It’s so hard to believe anything will ever be any shade of ok when you’re reeling.

        I KNEW suicide was not my pathway – but when in the throes of my year-long bout with major depression (long-term antibiotics killed the serotonin gut flora, it turned out, and current anti-depressants can’t work without them – took another solid year of serious pro-biotics to get it all working again) — the idea that I couldn’t simply opt-out was NOT good news, I promise.

        I now caution EVERYONE to start *serious* probiotics the second an antibiotic is prescribed. Get that FIRST – then fill your script. (but few listen, so that’s why I share my experience so freely) Worth a try for you son, too. Can’t hurt – might REALLY help.

        SOUP! That’s always been my “day after” ritual – and since I did the first-line clean-up and food put-away, I came home with turkey bones for stock (simmering on the stove as I type!) It’s labor-intensive to make & freeze your own stock, but it is SO much better than anything you can buy — and I LOVE the “free food” idea of it all.

        Supporting a family of 7 on a military salary, my parents played a yearly game of how many meals they could get out a turkey (not counting sandwiches), so it’s one way to keep them with me yearly — more important this year than ever, but sad I couldn’t call my Dad to gloat. (we two ALSO shared a particular fondness for the neck – which he always got when I lived in their home – since moving out, these “gloating” calls from me became our ritual, especially when he reached a point where he was always a guest at someone else’s table — not everyone is wise to the joys of giblets, and many toss them or give them to their dogs).

        Little things mean SO much more when you realize they are behind you forever — THUS, the grief year. Next year I’m sure it won’t be quite as bittersweet.


      • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

        November 24, 2012 at 9:17 pm

        Re: TBI, ADD, ADHD, brain dysfunction and risks of suicide. The thoughts are there in everyone whether it’s just a fleeting thought (like: I’m sick of this sh*t!. Tired of confusion! How stupid am I. How much can I take.) or one that acts upon the thought. Personally, I’ve worked with some horrific failures of suicide attempts and there’s nothing more horrific than those outcomes for the patient and family! These patients were so much worse off! Mental health isn’t valued in society and it’s the most expensive and least treated.

        I don’t think the question in healthcare professionals should ask: Have you thought of suicide or not? I think it should be a statement with multiple choice question: Have you thought of suicide: tens, hundreds, thousands, or millions since your injury/disease/illness/loss of loved one? I believe the thought is probably in the millions as people struggle so much daily. But that’s usually a fleeting thought owing to difficulty of the struggle. I’m only one person and I haven’t done a pilot study on this but I’ve asked others and it seems across the board. No one is satisfied with these struggles, but we do it to help others! But I’d never do it again!

        I know over the past few years someone doing therapy who was repeatedly denied social security, going from appeal to appeal, was so desperate it was the only way his family would be taken care of and it happened! It’s sad but our system fails too often. Why aren’t we trying to prevent problems. I’m sure it’s because there are millions more people, so is it that were just disposable?

        PROBIOTICS – That’s an excellent tip for everyone to know! I will pass the word along. So many times things work, but simply because the FDA didn’t approve it for one specific thing it can’t be mentioned. Besides to pass our FDA it can take 15 years or more. PROBIOTICS with ANTIBIOTICS! Thanks for information on this.

        I love to stretch meals and get the best for my $$$$. I think it’s a great attribute when being raised in large families. It’s something that lasts a lifetime. Soup anyone?

  3. Kathy

    November 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Madelyn, I’ll have to give your explanaton more thought and contemplation. I did want you to know that I have 10 grandchildren and Edie knows all their birthdays. So when I need to know one of their birthdays I call Edie, just so happens she has TBI and knows what is going on better then me. Like I’ve explained to her, I have gaps in my memory. I also have ADD and anxiety disorder. I really struggle with memory issues. I have found that studying is really important to building my memory.

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      November 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Kathy, You are funny! Hope Madelyn reads your comment. Let me explain the problem in my terms. Laughter: You know that Swiss cheese? I told you to get only one slice for a sandwich and you took a pound!LOL I only took my share, that’s one slice (that’s all you left me…Thank God)! That’s the difference between TBI and ADD!LOL

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

      November 22, 2012 at 9:33 am

      YES, Kathy! “Studying” is a member of the “rehearsal & repetition” component of the most reliable long-term memories – but not ALL of us need that (Edie, for example) – and few of us need it across the board — i.e., some types of info or “info of import” (laid down in the presence of strong emotion at the time) simply “sticks.” DO check out the article mention above (The Link Between Attention and ACTION) on my main blog – I think it will make my explanation here make more sense to you.

      On first blush, it sounds like your brain is similar to mine where those pesky numbers are concerned. The “memory experts” who sell those remember-everything courses t-totally MISS the import of brain-styles and modalities methods – they seem to think that if we ALL were to do what *they* do, we too could remember 100 random grocery items at will. (um, is it a sin to make a LIST and focus on remembering to take it with you when you shop????)

      Sheesh! MY short-term memory is so kludgy I’m at risk of forgetting where I left my calendar if I move it – so I try NOT to, to release cognitive bandwidth for more important activities than trying to “remember” where it is! I’m doing great to remember to CHECK it daily ;).


  4. Tanveer Rauf

    November 21, 2012 at 6:21 am

    dear aunty, i’m Tanveer’s grandson. Hasnain. i am 11 years old. i am also a blogger. please read my blogs too and guideme id is looking forward for you positive response. my grandmother is all praise for you 🙂

    • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

      November 21, 2012 at 6:46 am

      Hasnain, I will be happy to follow and learn about you. You are the future of the this world and children capture my heart. What do you do to keep yourself healthy? How do you help others in your life? Take care and stay safe, Aunty Edie

      • Tanveer Rauf

        November 22, 2012 at 8:44 am

        Edie dear, thank you so much for replying to my grandson Hasnain. He’s my daughter’s son. I told him about you because I know you can be a very good guide and friend:) his id is , hell be too happy if you reply him on his id please. many warm regards, tanveer

      • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

        November 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm

        Tanveer, You are more then welcome! It may surprise you because Hasnain probably has not had the opportunity to check his site but I’ve responded on several areas. I know he’ll appreciate it! I love children and anything I can do in any age group to make a positive outcome I will do! At the time of my injury I was working on a Children’s Program but as a result it never came to fruition. I think I’ve added my Rehabilitation Journal article I wrote and completed within days before injury. It should be on the pages section at the top. Just click on the link. Have a great day. Take care and stay safe, Edie

      • Tanveer Rauf

        November 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm

        Thanks a million Edie dear. you are a brave lady and source of inspiration. I told Hasnain. he may have not checked his blogs and your comments coz he wasn’t feeling well for last two days. he was down with fever and cold. I am so grateful to you for your kindness. wish you health and long life my dear 🙂 stay blessed amen

      • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

        November 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm

        Is Hasnain feeling better? Give him a big hug from me. Hope he’s up and about.

      • Tanveer Rauf

        November 22, 2012 at 10:33 pm

        Thank you Edie :)) hes better now:)

      • brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)

        November 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm

        I’m happy he’s better!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: